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Showing posts with label vacancy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vacancy. Show all posts

Thursday, December 3, 2015

BREAKING: Maryland Senator Karen Montgomery To Step Down // Delegate Craig Zucker Favored for Appointment

Multiple sources confirm that Senator Karen Montgomery (D-14) will resign prior to the start of the 2016 General Assembly session, thereby triggering a vacancy appointment by the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee.

Montgomery, 80, was first elected to the House of Delegates in 2002 - one of the first persons to represent District 14 within Montgomery County. In 2010 Delegate Montgomery defeated incumbent Senator Rona Kramer in the Democratic primary by just over 100 votes. She was strongly supported in that race by the teachers (MCEA), SEIU, League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club and Progressive Maryland.

Should the District 14 Senate vacancy materialize, the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee (MCDCC) will  have 30 days to make a recommendation to Governor Hogan on who should complete the remainder of Senator Montgomery's term.

Many insiders believe Delegate Craig Zucker to be the favorite to fill the vacancy.  Zucker, 40, was elected to the House of Delegates in 2010 and reelected in 2014. He sits on the House Appropriations Committee and was recently named the Vice Chair of Capital Budget Subcommittee by Speaker Mike Busch. Prior to his election, Zucker worked for a number of public officials including Senator Bill Bradley, Senator Barbara Boxer and Comptroller Peter Franchot.

If Zucker is appointed to the State Senate, his departure will trigger yet another MCDCC vacancy appointment, and a scramble to fill his Delegate seat. Among the names being mentioned for the potential Delegate vacancy include Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee member Chris Bradbury, Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee member and Morgan State Professor Pamela Queen, and former Deputy Secretary of State Dr. Rajan Natarajan. Other names are sure to emerge, including past candidates like Jodi Finkelstein and Tom Degonia.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

NEW DELEGATES: Who'll Fill Maryland's 2 Vacant House Seats? // The Replacements for Jim Proctor & Will Campos in 27A & 47B

BACKGROUND: Maryland currently has two vacancies in the House of Delegates, due to the recent passing of Delegate Jim Proctor and the resignation of Delegate Will Campos for personal reasons. Both members of the General Assembly served as Democrats, and under Maryland law, the vacancies will be filled by a vote of the elected Democratic Central Committees representing the counties where the members previously served. The recommendations of these county Central Committees are then sent to the Governor for formal appointment.

Notably, Delegate Will Campos' District 47B is contained wholly within Prince George's County. As a result, the elected members of the Prince George's County Democratic Central Committee get to make the recommendation for Campos' replacement. In contrast, Delegate Jim Proctor's District 27A is contained within both Prince George's County and Charles County. Correspondingly, both counties' Democratic Central Committees take independent votes on a replacement for Delegate Proctor. Though the appointment process is not yet complete in either legislative district, we have a very good sense of who will replace Delegates Jim Proctor and Will Campos:
  • Likely Replacement in District 27A: Susie Proctor
  • Likely Replacement in District 47B: Carlo Sanchez

DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEES CHOOSE SANCHEZ & PROCTOR - The Prince George's County Democratic Central Committee (PGCDCC) met on October 6th to nominate people to fill the Delegate vacancies in D27A and D47B.  Without any of the drama or backroom chaos that often accompanies these procedures (on of the aisle), the PGCDCC unanimously recommended Susie Proctor and Carlo Sanchez to fill the vacancies for District 27A and 47B, respectively. These names are submitted to Governor Larry Hogan, who has fifteen days to make the appointment.

For Mr. Sanchez, the process effectively concluded last night since District 47B is completely within Prince George's County, but Proctor's District 27A also includes portions of Charles County - so that Central Committee must weigh in as well for the second vacant seat.  states (excerpt below, emphasis mine):
If the vacancy occurs in a district which has boundaries comprising a portion or all of two or more counties, the Central Committee of each county involved shall have one vote for submitting the name of a resident of the district; and if there is a tie vote between or among the Central Committees, the list of names there proposed shall be submitted to the Governor, and he shall make the appointment from the list
Earlier this evening, the Charles County Democratic Central Committee joined their Prince George's counterparts in recommending Susie Proctor for the D27A vacancy by a vote of 14-1. Proctor faced competition from Charles County Orphans Court Judge Darlene Breck, and activist and former Commissioner-candidate Jim Easter.

MD'S UNIQUE PROCESS FOR FILLING STATE LEGISLATIVE VACANCIES - Maryland is one of 25 states that fill legislative vacancies through an appointment process, while the other 25 (including Delaware, Pennsylvania and Virginia) have special elections. While the Governor makes the formal appointment, the Maryland Constitution stipulates that the appointee must of be of the same political party as the person they succeed and carves out a role for the local Central Committee.  lays it out (excerpt below, emphasis mine):
In case of death, disqualification, resignation, refusal to act, expulsion, or removal from the county or city for which he shall have been elected, of any person who shall have been chosen as a Delegate or Senator, or in case of a tie between two or more such qualified persons, the Governor shall appoint a person to fill such vacancy from a person whose name shall be submitted to him in writing, within thirty days after the occurrence of the vacancy, by the Central Committee of the political party, if any, with which the Delegate or Senator, so vacating, had been affiliated, at the time of the last election or appointment of the vacating Senator or Delegate, in the County or District from which he or she was appointed or elected, provided that the appointee shall be of the same political party, if any, as was that of the Delegate or Senator, whose office is to be filled, at the time of the last election or appointment of the vacating Delegate or Senator, and it shall be the duty of the Governor to make said appointment within fifteen days after the submission thereof to him.

Carlo Sanchez
WHO IS CARLO SANCHEZ? - Carlo Sanchez's name was immediately following Del. Campos' resignation. He's a lifelong resident of House of Delegates District 47B, and is currently President of the Carole Highlands Civic Association. While the Prince George's Central Committee is his first elected position (he is the body's Secretary), Carlo has been active in local campaigns including managing Wanda Shelton Martin's unsuccessful bid for Delegate in the 47th in 2010. Carlo currently works as Public Safety Training Officer at Montgomery College.

Mr. Sanchez received the backing of Senator Ramirez and the 47th Delegation, and surprisingly no one else threw their hat in the ring. Other names that were floated include Dinora Hernandez who sits on the Price George's County Board of Education, and former Jolene Ivey-aide Wanika Fisher. Carlo's appointment would keep the number of Latino state legislators at 6. Maryland is home to more than 500,000 Hispanic residents. District 47B is the state's first Hispanic-majority district.


Susie Proctor
WHO IS SUSIE PROCTOR? - Susie Proctor is widely assumed to be the choice to complete her husband's term in the House of Delegates. . Susie is a former educator, having worked for Prince George's County Public Schools for 30 years. She has not run for elected office before, but is the Vice Chairman of the Prince George's Community College Board of Trustees and Chair of the County Tax Assessment Appeal Board.

is not a new concept nationally or locally. Maryland examples includes former Congresswoman Beverly Byron, former Delegate Mary Conroy and former Montgomery County Councilmember Don Praisner.

Monday, January 27, 2014

JUICE: Branson for Ervin's Seat, MoCo Public Financing, LCV Endorses, NARAL 4 Kagan, Van Hollen 4 Leggett, Delaney 4 Gov

Below Maryland Juice provides a round-up of news items of interest to politicos:

Cherri Branson
JUICE #1: CHERRI BRANSON IS THE LIKELY REPLACEMENT FOR VALERIE ERVIN'S MONTGOMERY COUNTY COUNCIL SEAT -  Montgomery County Councilmembers are poised to appoint a replacement for Valerie Ervin's vacant District 5 seat. Knowledgeable sources close to the appointment process believe that will soon be selected by the 8 voting Councilmembers (Note: Ervin cannot vote for her replacement). Ms. Branson is an attorney who serves as Chief Counsel for Oversight at the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee. She formerly served as President of the MoCo African American Democratic Club.

Sources also tell us that Branson is a consensus candidate who emerged after a stalemate between Andrew Kleine and former Delegate Herman Taylor. Citing an anti-choice voting record in Annapolis, reproductive rights advocates apparently succeeded in pushing back against a potential Taylor appointment.

The vote for a Council appointee has not yet been taken (so anything can still happen), but our sources sound pretty clear that we've likely got the scoop!


JUICE #2: MORE SPECULATION ABOUT WHETHER REP. JOHN DELANEY WILL RUN FOR GOVERNOR // PLUS: ANALYSES FROM JOURNALISTS & BLOGGERS - Maryland Juice recently reported that it appears Congressman John Delaney conducted a poll to gauge his chances in a campaign for Governor. But since then, , and he (sort-of) dispelled the rumors (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: Rep. John K. Delaney (D-Md.) on Saturday addressed rumors that he is considering running for governor of Maryland by issuing a statement that did not categorically rule out the possibility out but said he expects to continue serving in Congress next year.

“Many people I trust and respect have asked me to consider running for governor, and of course I always think about where I may best serve,” Delaney said. “But I love my job, and my expectation is that I will continue to serve in Congress and represent my district....”
Some journalists think Delaney's response is not a definitive statement that he won't enter the Governor's race. Take, for example, the following :


The if Delaney runs for governor, and they have a bit of wild speculation about the race (excerpt below):
FRONT LINE STATE: Sources are telling Front Line State that a major shakeup in Maryland electoral politics is in the offing. We reported earlier in the week that Representative John Delaney (D) might be jumping into the Governor’s race. Now we are hearing from sources in Annapolis that John Delaney is definitely going after the Democrat nomination for governor and will be announcing the move as early as next week. The new wrinkle to the story is that District 16 Delegate Bill Frick (D) will be running for Congress in MD-6 in place of Delaney....
For now, I would take the Front Line State story with a huge pound of salt, because Delaney running for governor is a big "if," and the theorizing about Frick is likely just speculation. In the meantime, in a Washington Post op-ed this weekend (excerpt below):
BRUCE DEPUYT (VIA WASHINGTON POST): To make history, Anthony G. Brown (D) must buck history. Brown’s campaign for the Democratic nomination for governor of Maryland has significant momentum. He has pulled ahead of his primary rival — Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler — in fundraising. He’s racked up a formidable list of endorsements from big-name politicians and influential organizations. And his political partner for the past eight years, Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), has a vested interest in helping the Prince George’s resident prevail in the Democratic primary in June....

But a cautionary note is needed: No lieutenant governor has ever managed to grab the top spot in Maryland. It happens in other states, of course, but in Maryland, the office has not served as a steppingstone to the governor’s mansion.

Maryland’s primary is still five months off, and a lot will happen. Brown must weather the negative headlines generated by the balky health-insurance exchange Web portal set up in Maryland as part of the Affordable Care Act, which he was assigned to oversee by O’Malley...

JUICE #3: REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN ENDORSES IKE LEGGETT FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY EXECUTIVE - Maryland Juice received the following email blast from the re-election campaign of MoCo Executive Ike Leggett announcing an endorsement from Rep. Chris Van Hollen (excerpt below):
CHRIS VAN HOLLEN: I proudly endorse Ike Leggett for reelection as Montgomery County Executive. As we move into the future, Montgomery County continues to need a visionary and principled leader who can deliver results. Our County Executive, Ike Leggett, has demonstrated that, time and again, he is that leader.

During the recent recession, Ike guided our County with a firm and balanced hand. He showed that he was not afraid to make the hard choices that would lead our County out of the recession, build a stronger economic foundation, maintain the highest financial reserves in our history, and preserve our AAA bond rating. Today, the County has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, has strong job growth, remains committed to a top-rated school system, and has embraced a vision for a global economy for the future....

Working hand-in-hand with State legislators last year, Ike’s leadership was instrumental in bringing home an unprecedented amount of State funding for County transportation projects. And even during the most challenging fiscal years, Ike was resolute in his commitment to Montgomery County Public Schools, funding nearly 100 percent of its budget requests....

JUICE #4: MOCO COUNCILMEMBER PHIL ANDREWS INTRODUCES PUBLIC FINANCING BILL FOR COUNTY CAMPAIGNS - week that Montgomery County Councilmember Phil Andrews (also a candidate for County Executive) introduced legislation to establish a public financing system for MoCo elections (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: ... Andrews (D-Rockville-Gaithersburg), a candidate in the June Democratic primary for county executive, said he sees public financing as an essential counter­weight to the influence of special-interest money in Montgomery elections, primarily from real estate developers and public employee unions....

Andrews’s plan is completely voluntary. Candidates who want to raise money in the traditional manner could do so without penalty. Those opting into the public system would have to raise an initial amount of “seed money” to qualify: $40,000 for a county executive candidate, $20,000 for an at-large council candidate, $10,000 for a district council seat. The maximum individual donation would be $150. No PAC money or corporate donations would be allowed.... Small donations would be matched at a higher rate — as high as a 6-to-1 ratio in some cases — to encourage many modest individual donations.

“I think we absolutely need to do this,” said council member Marc Elrich (D-At Large).... Council member Roger Berliner (D-Potomac-Bethesda) said he wants to know more about the details but believes the county needs to take advantage of the opportunity the General Assembly has provided....

JUICE #5: DOUG GANSLER ENDORSES MARIJUANA DECRIMINALIZATION // FLOOR VOTE NEEDED: ALL THREE GUBERNATORIAL CAMPAIGNS SUPPORT ZIRKIN-MIZEUR-SMIGIEL BILL - All three Democratic gubernatorial candidates now support reform of Maryland's marijuana laws. Delegate Heather Mizeur favors taxing and regulating pot similar to alcohol, while Lt. Governor Anthony Brown recently endorsed removing the 90-day jail penalty attached to marijuana possession. Over the weekend, the Del. Jolene Ivey:


ACT NOW: URGE YOUR MARYLAND LAWMAKERS TO SUPPORT MARIJUANA REFORM - Momentum is surging to roll back the expensive and failed War on Drugs in Maryland, and now all of the Democratic candidates for Governor and Attorney General have endorsed either decriminalization or legalization of pot. There are two simple actions you can take right now to help capitalize on this political opportunity:
1. TELL YOUR DELEGATES TO URGE A FLOOR VOTE FOR MARIJUANA DECRIMINALIZATION - State Senator Bobby Zirkin and Delegates Heather Mizeur & Mike Smigiel have introduced a marijuana decriminalization bill this session. The measure passed the State Senate last year, but it is stuck in the House of Delegates. Many politicos believe the bill would pass in the House if it was released for a floor vote. Please contact your members in the Maryland House of Delegates and urge them to call for a floor vote for marijuana decriminalization legislation:

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2. URGE STATE LEGISLATORS TO CO-SPONSOR LEGISLATION TO TAX & REGULATE MARIJUANA LIKE ALCOHOL - Removing jail penalties associated with simple marijuana possession (aka decriminalization) is just the first step toward creating public interest drug reform in Maryland. But we should all be aware that this a compromise position on the road to moving Maryland to tax and regulate marijuana like it does with alcohol. The legalization movement is quickly picking up steam in Maryland, as legislation to achieve this has been introduced by State Senator Jamie Raskin and Delegate Curt Anderson. The effort has support from powerful Democratic lawmakers including Senate President Mike Miller, House Ways & Means committee Chair Sheila Hixson, House Environmental Matters committee Chair Maggie McIntosh and more. Please urge your state legislators to co-sponsor the "tax and regulate" legislation:

[ ]

UPDATE: Below you can read a letter Delegate Heather Mizeur sent to her colleagues urging them to get behind the effort to remove jail time as a penalty for pot possession this year:


JUICE #6: MARYLAND LEAGUE OF CONSERVATION VOTERS MAKES ENDORSEMENTS IN D6, D13, D26, D27C & D46 - Maryland Juice received the following press release from the League of Conservation Voters announcing the following endorsements in open seat and contested races (excerpt below, "bold" emphasis added):
PRESS RELEASE

Maryland League of Conservation Voters Announces Key Endorsements for New Green Maryland Senators and Delegates

Candidates Are the Clear Choice for the Environment
                                                                                                                                                          
(Annapolis, MD) Today the Maryland League of Conservation Voters (Maryland LCV) released its next round of endorsed candidates for General Assembly 2014 state primary elections. The organization said the 3 Senate seats and 2 delegate seats are priority races for the organization and present exciting opportunities to put candidates with much stronger environmental records in all of these seats.

“These candidates will increase the conservation majority in the General Assembly,” said Karla Raettig, Executive Director of Maryland LCV. “Marylanders care about our air, land and water and vote for candidates who lead on the environment. These candidates are, without a doubt, the best choice for the environment in the Maryland General Assembly.”

Raettig went on to say:
  • Maryland LCV endorses Johnny Olszewski for District 6 Senate.  He holds a 88% lifetime score and Senator Stone is retiring with a 66% score.  He’s a champion for clean energy and we’re excited to endorse his move to the Senate.”
  • Maryland LCV endorses Guy Guzzone for his bid to the District 13 Senate which is also open.  Delegate Guzzone holds a 93% lifetime score while the predecessor, Senator Robey held a 70%.  He’s a big champion on environmental budget issues.”
  • Maryland LCV endorses Veronica Turner for her bid against Anthony Muse in District 26.  Delegate Turner holds a 92% lifetime score while Senator Muse has a 62% lifetime score.  We’re looking forward to helping her move to the Senate chamber.”
  • Maryland LCV endorses Sue Kullen for delegate in district 27C in Calvert County.  It’s an open seat and with her previous environmental lifetime score of 88%, we’re elated to endorse her to re-enter the Maryland General Assembly.”
  • Maryland LCV endorses Brooke Lierman for delegate in district 46 in Baltimore City.  She will replace retiring Delegate McHale with a lifetime score of 75%.  While this will be her first bid to the Maryland General Assembly, she is strongly prioritizing the environment and we’re proud to endorse her.”
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JUICE #7: NARAL ENDORSES CHERYL KAGAN FOR DISTRICT 17 STATE SENATE - Maryland Juice received the following press release from D17 Senate candidate Cheryl Kagan announcing an endorsement from NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland (excerpt below):
PRESS RELEASE

Cheryl Kagan Announces Senate Endorsement by NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland on 
41st Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

Today, former Delegate Cheryl Kagan announced that she has been endorsed by NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland PAC for State Senate, District 17.

"On behalf of the members of the NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland PAC, I am pleased to announce our organization's endorsement of your candidacy," said Wendy Royalty, NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland PAC Chair. "Your leadership as a member of the House of Delegates and your ongoing commitment to women's reproductive choice and to women's health and safety made this an easy decision for our board."

Cheryl has worked on reproductive rights and privacy issues for almost 30 years on the state and federal levels, both as a staffer for NARAL Pro-Choice America and as a leader on reproductive choice while serving in the House of Delegates....

###

Thursday, January 9, 2014

JUICE: Final List of Names for Ervin's MoCo Council Seat, 2014 Annapolis Priorities, Del. Don Dwyer Removed from Committee

PLUS: FBI IN PRINCE GEORGE'S, 15 MIN TRAIN RIDE TO BALTIMORE, D17 SENATE BATTLE & MORE!

Below Maryland Juice provides a round-up of news items relating to politics and economic development:

JUICE #1: FINAL LIST OF APPLICANTS FOR VALERIE ERVIN'S COUNCIL VACANCY // JAY HUTCHINS & FORMER DEL. HERMAN TAYLOR ROUND OUT LIST OF 18 NAMES - Yesterday was the deadline for Democrats in Montgomery County's Council District 5 to apply for the seat recently vacated by Valerie Ervin. Below Maryland Juice provides the full list of eighteen (!!!) applicants for the interim appointment:
  1. Alan Bowser
  2. Cherri Branson
  3. Esther Stein Chayt
  4. Michael Diegel
  5. Jeanette Dixon
  6. Larry E. Edmonds
  7. Ronald Galvin, Jr.
  8. Jay Hutchins III
  9. Arthur Jackson, Jr.
  10. Kim Jones
  11. Andrew Kleine
  12. Iris Lewis
  13. Timothy Male
  14. Harold McDougall
  15. Herman Taylor *
  16. Dale Tibbitts
  17. Daniel L. Wilhelm
  18. Mark Woodard
* Currently resides in District 5 -- will update voter registration from District 4 prior to appointment

One of the more interesting new names on this list is Jay Hutchins, who was the runner-up to Sam Arora in the 2010 Democratic Primary for District 19 House of Delegates. Also of note is an application by former District 14 Delegate Herman Taylor.


JUICE #2: GOP DELEGATE DON DWYER STRIPPED OF SEAT ON HOUSE WAYS & MEANS COMMITTEE - that at the start of Maryland's 2014 legislative session, embattled Delegate Don Dwyer has been removed from his seat on the House Ways & Means Committee (excerpt below):
CAPITAL GAZETTE: For the second time in a year, Del. Don Dwyer will be removed from a House of Delegates committee. House Speaker Michael E. Busch, D-Annapolis, said Thursday he was removing Dwyer, R-Pasadena, from the House Ways and Means Committee “to protect the integrity of the institution of the House of Delegates.” Dwyer is expected to lose his seat Friday. Dwyer was sentenced in October 2013 to 30 consecutive weekends in jail for drunken driving. He will spend most weekends during the 2014 General Assembly in confinement. Stripped of his committee position, Dwyer will only be able to debate and cast votes on the House floor for the remainder of the session....

JUICE #3: DEL. LUIZ SIMMONS CALLS FOR "CLEAN CAMPAIGN PLEDGE" IN D17 STATE SENATE CONTEST - Maryland Juice received the following press release from Delegate Luiz Simmons calling for a "clean campaign pledge" from rival candidate Cheryl Kagan in the District 17 State Senate primary:
PRESS RELEASE

Del. Luiz Simmons Proposes Clean Campaign Pledge in State Senate Race
Says residents deserve honest, fair campaign - free from mudslinging

Rockville, MD – Today, District 17 State Senate candidate and current State Delegate Luiz Simmons proposed the “No Mudslinging in Maryland Pledge.”  This pledge would ensure a clean campaign in the race to represent Rockville and Gaithersburg in the State Senate.

The 2010 State Senate campaign between State Senator Jennie Forhand and Cheryl Kagan was called “the most negative campaign in District 17 history.”

“The voters in District 17 deserve a campaign that is honest, fair and focuses on the issues.  There is no place for the politics of personal destruction in this race,” said Delegate Luiz Simmons.  “I urge my opponent, Cheryl Kagan to sign this pledge today.”

The No Mudslinging in Maryland Pledge says the following:

As primary candidates for the office of State Senator, District 17, we hereby agree that the people of Maryland deserve better than a negative campaign.  They deserve a campaign on the issues most important to them – not one full of cheap, divisive attacks. 

During the primary campaign, we pledge the following:
  1. To avoid personal attacks against our opponents. We will not engage in a smear campaign, negative character attacks, defamation, or false accusations against any opponent.
  2. To avoid distortions and misrepresentations of our opponents’ records and positions. This includes distortions in the media, campaign literature, advertisements, mailings and speaking engagements.
  3. We hereby instruct members of our campaign teams, including staff, advisors and volunteers, to agree to these same terms.
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JUICE #4: TOWN OF CHEVY CHASE SEEKS TO SPEND $360,000 ON LAWYERS TO BATTLE PURPLE LINE - Leaders in the Town of Chevy Chase, who have been battling the proposed light rail "Purple Line"' project, held a public hearing last night to discuss whether to spend $360,000 on attorneys to tackle one of Montgomery County's top transportation priorities. The item was included in (excerpt below):
TOWN OF CHEVY CHASE: At its Wednesday, January 8 meeting, the Town Council will hold a public hearing on a proposal to engage a law firm to assist the Town in continuing to respond to the proposed Purple Line project and its local impacts.

The Town recently submitted comments regarding the Purple Line’s Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), which assesses the environmental effects of the proposed project. These comments note significant concerns with the project’s skyrocketing costs and funding prospects and call for a new environmental impact study to identify lower cost alternatives, such as bus rapid transit. The comments also raise technical concerns about the proposed alignment, including visual, noise and safety impacts.

As plans for the Purple Line progress, the Town Council wants to ensure that the Town’s concerns are given serious consideration by state and federal decision makers, and the Council has proposed to engage a law firm to assist in that effort. The length of the engagement will be approximately 18 months, with a cost of approximately $360,000....
The unfortunate aspect to this development, is that the Purple Line is a broadly popular project outside of Chevy Chase, and so the town's expenditures on lawyers may well cost taxpayers in other parts of Maryland thousands of dollars to defend the light rail initiative. Notably, Chevy Chase has ample resources for such a strategy, given that under state law they are refunded 1/6 of county income taxes paid by town residents. In a recent count, the Town of Chevy Chase with a population of 2,907 got almost as much money as Takoma Park with 17,905 (much less affluent) people ($2,174,114 vs. $2,330,225).  


JUICE #5: LERNER FAMILY SEEKS TO LURE FBI HEADQUARTERS TO FORMER LANDOVER MALL SITE IN PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY - that Lerner Enterprises (the business run by the owner of the Washington Nationals) is attempting to lure the FBI to the former Landover Mall site in Prince George's County (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: Sears is shuttering its store near the former Landover Mall, after selling the site to a Rockville-based development firm that is seeking to build a new FBI headquarters.... The store operated for more than a decade in a sea of empty parking lots after Landover Mall closed in 2002 and the shopping center was demolished a few years later. Lerner Enterprises said Tuesday that it plans to offer the 88-acre former mall site to the General Services Administration for consideration as a future headquarters for the FBI....

“With Sears closed the confusion that existed as to the availability of the entire site should be eliminated,” Alan H. Gottlieb, chief operating officer of Lerner Enterprises, wrote in an e-mail after the Sears announcement. “We would hope to attract a major user or users to the site possibly the FBI. In that regard we have submitted the site to the GSA.”

JUICE #6: JAPANESE OFFICIALS OFFER HELP TO BUILD HIGH SPEED RAIL TO CREATE 15 MINUTE TRAIN RIDE BETWEEN BALTIMORE & WASHINGTON - that the Japanese government has offered to lend the United States half the cost of building a high-speed "Mag-Lev" train between Baltimore and Washington, DC. The proposed system would cut the commuting time between the two cities to fifteen minutes (excerpt below):
BUSINESS INSIDER: The Japanese government has promised to lend the United States half of the cost of building the first "Super-Maglev" train, reducing travel time between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. to just 15 minutes. Tokyo is so keen to show off its technology that it will provide loans for half the estimated $8 billion (£5bn) cost of installing the tracks, Japan's Asahi newspaper said on Tuesday.

The American federal government is keen on the project, according to Central Japan Railway Co., and state authorities are especially enthusiastic.... Maglev vehicles have no wheels and are propelled along their track through electromagnetic pull – doing away with friction and, hence, providing a smoother and quieter ride at a faster speed....

JUICE #7: ADVOCATES HIGHLIGHT 2014 MARYLAND LEGISLATIVE AGENDA FOR LGBT RIGHTS - At the start of the 2014 Annapolis legislative session, of LGBT activists in Maryland (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON BLADE: Efforts to ban discrimination based on gender identity and expression and so-called “ex-gay” conversion therapy to minors are top priorities for Maryland LGBT rights advocates during the 2014 legislative session that begins on Wednesday.

State Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County) will introduce the transgender rights bill in the state Senate. State Del. Luke Clippinger (D-Baltimore City) plans to bring forth the measure in the House of Delegates, even though the chamber passed a trans rights bill in 2011....

The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee last March by a 6-5 vote struck down a bill Madaleno and state Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-Montgomery County) introduced that would have banned anti-trans discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodation. State Sens. Norman Stone (D-Baltimore County), C. Anthony Muse (D-Prince George’s County) and James Brochin (D-Baltimore County) voted against the measure....

State Del. Jon Cardin (D-Baltimore County) has introduced a bill that would ban “ex-gay” conversion therapy to minors in Maryland. The original version of House Bill 91 only includes sexual orientation, but Cardin’s legislative director Josh Greenfield told the Blade on Tuesday it will be amended to include gender identity and expression. Madaleno is also expected to introduce the measure in the Senate.

JUICE #8: ACLU OF MARYLAND RELEASES LIST OF 2014 MARYLAND LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES - Maryland's ACLU released the following press release discussing their legislative priorities in the 2014 Annapolis session (excerpt below):
PRESS RELEASE

ACLU of Maryland Announces 2014 Legislative Priorities

Issues include taxing and regulating marijuana, stopping local police from enforcing civil immigration detainers, limiting email and cell phone surveillance, and ending the shackling of pregnant women

...The ACLU priorities include legislation to tax and regulate marijuana, stop local police from enforcing civil immigration detainers, limit email and cell phone surveillance, end the shackling of pregnant women, fully fund the Public Education "Thornton" Funding Formula and more....

Highlights from the ACLU’s priorities for 2014 General Assembly session:

PRIVACY
  • Email Surveillance: Privacy laws have yet to be updated, which allows the government to intercept and access information about the content of our emails, and other information collected by search engines, social networking sites and other websites. The ACLU supports legislation to ensure that new advances in science and technology enhance, not compromise, civil liberties.
  • Location Tracking:  The ACLU supports legislation that would ensure that legitimate investigations can proceed, while protecting innocent Marylanders from unjustified invasions of their privacy.
  • Drones: Drones can pose a serious threat to privacy. The ACLU of Maryland is in support of legislation that would prohibit a Maryland law enforcement agency from using a drone to gather evidence without a warrant.
  • Automatic License Plate Recorders: The ACLU supports legislation that would keep law enforcement from storing records of plates and locations that are not ‘hits’ against any database.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE: The War on Drugs has failed.  Maryland spends an inordinate amount of time, energy and money arresting people for marijuana possession, even though 44 percent of violent crimes in Maryland go unsolved. Further, despite equal rates of use, these arrests are racially imbalanced.  Because the War on Drugs has failed, the ACLU supports the full decriminalization, taxation and regulation of marijuana possession.

REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM: The ACLU works to protect everyone's right to make informed decisions free from government interference about whether and when to become a parent. In addition, the ACLU will advocate for legislation to end the dangerous practices of shackling pregnant women in custody during transport, labor and delivery. The ACLU supported last year, and will support again, legislation that would prohibit the shackling of pregnant inmates and detainees during their second and third trimesters.

IMMIGRATION REFORM: State and local law enforcement undermine public safety and waste resources by enforcing immigration detainer requests from U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The ACLU supports the Maryland Trust Act, a bill that would restore community relationships with local police by disentangling them from federal immigration enforcement efforts. 

EDUCATION
  • Full Funding of the Public Education "Thornton" Funding Formula: The ACLU's Education Reform Project will continue its advocacy to ensure that the state budget contains full funding of the “Thornton” education funding formula in the Bridge to Excellence Act, including a minimum 1 percent inflation factor and the Geographic Cost of Education Index. 
  • Funding the Thornton Formula Adequacy Study in the Governor’s Budget: The ACLU has called on the Governor to provide appropriate funding in the Maryland State Board of Education budget to hire a reputable expert to conduct the required “adequacy study” of the “Thornton” education formula. The Bridge to Excellence Act anticipated the need to regularly update the formula in light of changing academic standards and requires that over the next two years a reassessment will take place of the adequacy of funding levels for students to meet state standards. 
  • Expansion of Pre-Kindergarten Education for the Most At-risk Children: The ACLU will advocate for adequate state and local funding for the existing Pre-K programs (currently funded based on K-12 students rather than Pre-K enrollment) and for the state to fund school districts that offer full-day programs. 
  • Oppose State Funding of Private Schools: The ACLU will continue to fight back against funding private schools with public dollars. The ACLU opposes legislation that would reimburse parents or institutions for private school tuition. Private schools do not have to abide by the same state anti-discrimination laws and rules that public schools do. Such legislation also entangles the state in promoting religious education, as many of the beneficiaries would be religious schools. And every public dollar diverted to private schools is a dollar lost to the taxpayers of Maryland.
The full list of can be found at the .

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JUICE #9: COMMUNITY ACTIVISTS ANNOUNCE 2014 MARYLAND LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES - Maryland Juice received the following press release from the "Fund Our Communities" coalition announcing their 2014 efforts in Annapolis (excerpts below):
PRESS RELEASE

MD Legislators Urged: Establish a Commission to Prepare for Military Downsizing

ANNAPOLIS, MD –Members of the Fund our Communities (FOC) coalition are asking Maryland lawmakers to support legislation establishing the Commission on Maryland’s Future, A Jobs Strategy for the State of Maryland. This commission will be tasked with developing plans and policies to ensure a competitive advantage for Maryland as Federal military spending declines.

Jean Athey, steering committee chair, commented: “Maryland has over 200,000 workers in military-related industries and ranks fourth among states in per capita defense spending. As Federal military spending decreases, military-related jobs in Maryland will shrink and tax revenues for local communities will decline.”

Concerned about the economic shock that military drawdowns may have on jobs and employment, several unions have joined the FOC coalition. Gino Renne, President of UFCW Local 1994 MCGEO, explains, “With Maryland receiving over $36 billion annually from military spending, we may have put more of our eggs into this one basket than is wise. As an organization that represents middle class employees, this is a genuine concern for us.” Other unions have expressed similar concerns. In October, the Maryland/DC AFL-CIO passed a resolution at its annual conference encouraging its members to become engaged on the topic of conversion of military spending to domestic needs.

David Kunes, President of Montgomery County Young Democrats, notes that the Department of Defense has provided guidance to states and communities on defense transition, guidance that “shows that the Futures Commission is simply an idea whose time has come.” Athey agrees, adding “It is no longer a question of should we prepare for the economic changes that potential military cutbacks will have on our State, but rather, how we can afford not to.”

FOC (www.ourfunds.org) is a coalition comprised of over 60 organizations, including political, veteran, faith groups and unions, that advocates for changes in our nation’s budget to more adequately fund community needs.

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JUICE #10: O'MALLEY TO FOCUS ON RAISING MINIMUM WAGE // PLUS: THE WOULD-BE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE NEEDS RE-EDUCATION ON WAR ON DRUGS  - that Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley will be prioritizing passage of a minimum wage increase in the 2014 legislative session (excerpt below):
ASSOCIATED PRESS (VIA WBAL): Governor Martin O'Malley says he will be focusing his energy on raising the state's minimum wage in his last legislative session as Maryland's governor. O'Malley on Tuesday underscored the minimum wage hike as a top priority a day before the state's 90-day session is scheduled to begin.... Maryland's minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. O'Malley says 21 other states have a higher minimum wage than Maryland, which he says has the highest median income in the nation. While the governor pledged his commitment to push for an increase, it remains unclear how much....
Indeed, the devil will be in the details with the coming minimum wage hike, and Maryland Juice hopes that ahead of his 2016 White House run, Governor O'Malley will embrace a $10.10/hr indexed minimum wage hike -- that does not seek to overturn the recently passed $11.50/hr wage hikes in Montgomery & Prince George's counties.

RE-EDUCATING O'MALLEY ON THE FAILED WAR ON DRUGS: On another note, Governor O'Malley needs a hard nudge to see that the broad public is mostly done with the failed "war on drugs" and no longer sees jail time as an appropriate penalty for petty "crimes" like marijuana possession. A good starting point for his re-education campaign might be the eye-opening documentary "The House I Live In," which details the ravaging effects of our ignorant "tough on crime" and "war on drugs" policies. The film took the Grand Jury Prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, and I highly recommend it to Maryland Juice readers (trailer below):

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

JUICE: Equality Maryland for Brown, Gansler Backers Fight Donation Ruling, A Wrinkle for Ervin's Seat, Minimum Wage

UPDATE: An anonymous source indicates that Ronnie Galvin (a potential applicant for Valerie Ervin's interim County Council vacancy) may have moved to White Oak not too long ago, which would mean he may indeed still be eligible for the District 5 "caretaker" position. False alarm?

Below Maryland Juice provides a few news items of interest to politicos:

JUICE #1: EQUALITY MARYLAND ENDORSES ANTHONY BROWN FOR GOVERNOR - Maryland's LGBT rights advocacy group Equality Maryland made a notable endorsement in the upcoming Governor's race by endorsing Lt. Governor Anthony Brown last week. (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON BLADE: Maryland’s largest LGBT advocacy organization on Monday announced it has endorsed Lieutenant Gov. Anthony Brown for governor.... “We are proud to put our support behind the Brown/Ulman ticket for governor and lieutenant governor,” said Equality Maryland Executive Director Carrie Evans in a statement....

Mizeur described the Brown endorsement as a “puzzling choice” in a statement. “No one in this race has done more for the LGBT community than the Mizeur-Coates ticket,” she told the Washington Blade. “I’m not sure what more we could have done to earn their support....”

Evans defended her organization’s decision to endorse Brown — and not Mizeur. “I suppose any candidate that doesn’t get an endorsement feels snubbed,” Evans told the Blade. “Equality Maryland is confident the Brown/Ulman administration will provide the leadership Equality Maryland needs in our next governor and has the relationships we need to move LGBT issues forward in our state....”

JUICE #2: GANSLER SUPPORTERS FIGHT BOARD OF ELECTIONS RULING ALLOWING ULMAN TO FUNDRAISE DURING LEGISLATIVE SESSION - Maryland Juice reported that the state's board of elections recently drafted an opinion allowing Howard County Executive Ken Ulman to continue fundraising during the upcoming Annapolis legislative session. We previously noted that this decision means that the Brown-Ulman ticket can fundraise during the January to April session, while the Gansler-Ivey ticket cannot. Notably, state officials are prohibited from fundraising during session, and Doug Gansler and Jolene Ivey are both state officials. But that the day after Christmas, supporters of Doug Gansler filed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate the Board of Elections ruling (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE SUN: Lawyer Daniel M. Clements, who backs Gansler's campaign for the Democratic nomination, filed suit in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court against Maryland State Elections Board chief Linda H. Lamone, Brown and his running mate, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman. The suit seeks to invalidate the board's ruling that Ulman — as a county officeholder — is not covered by a fundraising moratorium that applies to state officials while the legislature is meeting....

But Lamone ruled Dec. 19 that Ulman can continue to raise money for his own campaign committee during the legislative session, which runs from Jan. 8 to April 7. The Brown campaign has said Ulman's fundraising activities will be kept separate from the overall Brown-Ulman effort, though any money Ulman takes in could be spent to promote the ticket in the June 24 primary.

Maryland law prevents statewide elected officials and legislators from soliciting or accepting donations during the session — a provision intended to avoid the appearance that campaign gifts are influencing the lawmaking process. A third Democratic candidate, Del. Heather R. Mizeur of Montgomery County, can continue to raise donations of up to $250 because she is accepting public financing....

JUICE #3: MOCO ATTORNEYS RULE THAT CARETAKER APPOINTEE FOR VALERIE ERVIN'S COUNCIL SEAT MUST LIVE IN NEWLY REDISTRICTED BOUNDARIES - MoCo politicos have been discussing potential replacements for Councilmember Valerie Ervin's District 5 seat. There is one year left in Ervin's term, and a majority of Councilmembers plan to appoint a "caretaker" who will not run for her seat in the June 2014 Democratic Primary. Several names have been floated as possible appointees for the coveted County Council seat, but last night Maryland Juice received word of a wrinkle to the story. A source forwarded us an email they received from the County Council's press officer, Neil Greenberger indicating that the Council vacancy must be filled be a Democrat who lives in the newly redrawn District 5 boundaries (excerpt below):
NEIL GREENBERGER: I promised to get back to you as soon as I learned of the decision regarding the residency boundaries in regard to filling the County Council District 5 vacancy. After careful study, both the attorneys of the County Council and the County Attorney have concurred on the following:

The appointee to the District 5 Council seat, which will become vacant when Councilmember Ervin resigns on January 3, 2014, must be a resident of District 5 as it is currently configured after the 2011 redistricting, which became effective on March 7, 2012.
Notably, Montgomery County's Council districts were recently redrawn, and so it now appears that Democrats who live in Council District 5 as it existed in the 2010 election cycle are not necessarily eligible to apply for the appointment. Bethesda Magazine and The Gazette published lists of Democrats who may be interested in applying for the Council vacancy (see below), but so far only one possible appointee may be disqualified by MoCo's interpretation of the vacancy appointment process: Ronnie Galvin. Maryland Juice checked the voter registration addresses of all of the possible D5 appointees named below, and so far all but Ronnie Galvin appear to live in the new District 5. UPDATE: An anonymous source believes that Galvin moved to White Oak not too long ago, which would mean he would likely still be eligible for the appointment.

In any case, in a pair of articles this month, Bethesda Magazine and The Gazette began highlighting some of the folks that are interested in the "caretaker" appointment. Here's (excerpt below):
BETHESDA MAGAZINE: So far, the field includes:

* Alan Bowser, 61, a Silver Spring-based attorney who was a deputy assistant secretary of Commerce during the Clinton administration and more recently chief of staff to former County Councilmember Duchy Trachtenberg.

* Michael Diegel, 59, a public affairs consultant who chairs the Silver Spring Arts & Entertainment District Advisory Committee and is a member of the county’s Nighttime Economy Task Force.

* Ronnie Galvin, 45, executive director of Impact Silver Spring, a group formed in the wake of the Silver Spring redevelopment to provide support services to community residents.

* Tim Male, 43, a Takoma Park city council member since 2011 and, until recently, vice president of a national environmental organization, Defenders of Wildlife. 

* Dale Tibbitts, 55, for the past seven years chief of staff to at-large Councilmember Marc Elrich and a former chair of the Silver Spring Transit Management District Advisory Committee.

* Dan Wilhelm, 68, a former president of the Montgomery County Civic Federation and a former chair of the Committee for Montgomery, an umbrella group that is active on state legislative issues.

Applicants for the seat must reside in Silver Spring/Takoma Park-based District 5 and, like Ervin, be a registered Democrat. They will be asked to pledge only to fill out the remainder of Ervin’s term, which runs through next Dec. 1, and not to seek a full term in next June’s primary, according to Rice’s statement.
Note that the list above flags people that may be interested in the caretaker appointment, though not all of them have actually submitted an application for the County Council vacancy. The Gazette's Ryan Marshall followed-up on the story with an article highlighting four people that have actually submitted applications already. Notably, three out of four people who have actually applied were not on Lou Peck's list, indicating that interest in the interim appointment is strong. Here's an excerpt from :
GAZETTE: A retired high school principal, a Howard University law professor, a government contractor and a former town councilman are among the people who have applied to fill the soon-to-be vacant District 5 seat on the Montgomery County Council.... The deadline to submit applications is Jan. 8.

So far, applicants to fill the spot are: Jeanette Dixon of Silver Spring, Arthur H. Jackson Jr. of Takoma Park, Howard University law professor Harold McDougall and Daniel Wilhelm of Colesville, according to county records....

JUICE #4: TERRILL NORTH ANNOUNCES CAMPAIGN FOR VALERIE ERVIN'S MOCO COUNCIL SEAT   - While the County Council prepares to appoint a temporary District 5 Councilmember, the June 2014 primary race for a full four-year term is beginning to take shape. Maryland Juice received the following press release from Takoma Park activist Terrill North announcing that he will be running for the District 5 County Council seat in the June 2014 Democratic Primary. So far Terrill North is facing off against Silver Spring activist Evan Glass, though politicos expect Board of Education member Chris Barclay and Delegate Tom Hucker to make decisions on the race shortly. In the meantime, you can see Terrill North's press announcement below:
PRESS RELEASE

Terrill North released the following statement:
I’m in. And I’m in to win – Then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, 1/20/2007

Living and working in Montgomery County has brought many moments of deep joy into my life, including:
  • working with Takoma Park officials and Congressman Chris Van Hollen to bring home over $1 million in federal funding to reduce ;
  • leading two mentorship programs serving over 500 at-risk youth from to ;
  • serving as  a volunteer leader of the ACLU of Maryland ; and
  • speaking through an interpreter to advise on becoming a business named El Rosal employing a dozen women.
I have spent the past few months listening to neighbors, family, and friends about issues including school construction, community-centered development, and environmental protection.  I have been humbled by expressions of support from all corners.  You can hear what several local leaders including my new campaign chair, Emily Koechlin, have had to say about me or my candidacy at .

Today I’m announcing that I am running in the Democratic primary on June 24, 2014 for the open Montgomery County Council seat representing District Five.

Over the next several months I am looking forward to many discussions about preserving our Montgomery County heritage and preparing for our future, including:
  • Addressing growing inequality and closing the achievement gap in local schools;
  • Protecting Ten Mile Creek, the last pristine waterway in Montgomery County;
  • Reducing congestion; and
  • Building a Health Economy Corridor in centered on the FDA Science Center, Washington Adventist Hospital, local college campuses, and Bus Rapid Transit.
I'm in.  And I'm in to win – with your help.

Now let’s get to work…
Terrill
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JUICE #5: MINIMUM WAGE ADVOCATES TO HIGHLIGHT WHICH MOCO DEMOCRATS SUPPORT $10.10 AN HOUR // PLUS: 13 STATES TO INCREASE WAGE ON JAN 1  - Maryland Juice received the following press release from advocates of a minimum wage hike announcing a press conference to highlight which Montgomery County Democrats have signed onto a $10.10 minimum wage:
PRESS RELEASE


Montgomery County delegation to the Maryland General Assembly to announce support for raising the state’s minimum wage during upcoming legislative session

County delegation chairs to announce list of elected supporters of higher pay for Maryland workers

What:       
Press conference with Montgomery County delegation to the General Assembly to announce support for raising the minimum wage
Who:
Montgomery County delegation chairs Sen. Jamie Raskin and Del. Anne Kaiser along with other county elected officials and advocates
Where:     
Temple Emanuel
10101 Connecticut Avenue
Kensington, MD 20895
When:       
Friday, January 3, 2014 at 10 am

The Montgomery County delegation to the Maryland General Assembly will detail its support for raising the state’s minimum wage during the upcoming legislative session at a press conference to be held at Temple Emanuel in Kensington on Friday, January 3.  Montgomery County delegation chairs Sen. Jamie Raskin and Del. Anne Kaiser will announce which members of the delegation have signed onto a letter of support circulated by Raise Maryland in support of a higher wage. Signatories call for legislation to raise the state’s lowest wage that includes three key provisions:
  • Raise Maryland’s minimum wage in three steps to $10.10 by 2016;
  • Index the minimum wage to the cost of living thereafter so that it doesn’t lose value over time; and
  • Increase the minimum wage for tipped workers from the current 50 percent to 70 percent of the prevailing minimum wage.
Speakers will include the delegation chairs who will discuss their plans to pass the minimum wage bill during the 2014 General Assembly session and why they believe that an increase in the minimum wage is good for both workers and business.

By failing to act to raise the wage floor during the 2013 Maryland General Assembly, state lawmakers effectively cut the pay of state workers as the value of the minimum wage continues to fall. By contrast, low-wage workers in 13 other states will get a raise on January 1, including four states that recently raised the wage as well as nine states that annually index the minimum wage to inflation

Momentum has been building for Maryland to increase the state’s minimum wage during the upcoming 2014 session of the Maryland General Assembly.  Montgomery and Prince George’s county councils each recently passed bills raising wages in those jurisdictions to $11.50 by 2017.

Research has found that approximately 472,000 Marylanders would benefit from the increase, putting $466 million more in their pockets in the next two years. At the same time, businesses would benefit from nearly half a billion dollars in new consumer spending and would create more than 4,000 new full-time jobs as they expand to meet increased demand.

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COMPETING MINIMUM WAGE PROPOSALS? - Though the event above will highlight which MoCo lawmakers are supporting a $10.10/hour minimum wage, by deduction that means we will also soon know which lawmakers are not supporting a $10.10 indexed minimum wage. Maryland Juice previously noted that Senate President Mike Miller was suggesting an $8.25/hour minimum wage, and we recently noticed that that does not appear to be indexed.

Meanwhile, the National Employment Law Project just put out a press release noting that 13 states will increase their minimum wage on New Year's Day:
PRESS RELEASE

13 States to Increase Minimum Wage on New Year’s Day

2.5 million low-paid workers to receive a pay raise as a growing number of states raise the minimum wage in the face of Congressional inaction

Washington, DC – After a year when thousands of low-wage workers staged historic strikes to demand higher pay in the retail and fast-food industries, and after escalating calls from President Obama and Congressional Democrats to raise the federal minimum wage for the first time in four years, the new year will begin with 13 states implementing minimum wage increases that are estimated to boost the incomes of 2.5 million low-paid workers, according to an analysis of Census data by the Economic Policy Institute.

Four of these states – Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island –  passed laws to raise the minimum wage earlier this year, while the remaining nine states – Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington – are adjusting their minimum wages in accordance with state laws requiring automatic annual increases to keep pace with the rising cost of living. (California, which also passed a law this year to raise its minimum wage, will raise its minimum wage in July).

The increases will generate an additional $619 million in new economic growth as low-paid workers spend their increased earnings on basic necessities like food, gasoline, and housing.

“As Congress drags its feet on raising the federal minimum wage, more and more Americans are earning poverty-level wages in expanding industries like retail and fast food,” said Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project. “In the face of federal inaction, states are boosting the paychecks of the lowest-paid workers, promoting growth and consumer spending, and hopefully providing an example for Congress to follow.”

As the unemployment rate in many states continues to slowly decline, new job growth remains disproportionately concentrated in low-wage industries such as retail and food services, making an increase in the minimum wage an urgent priority for growing numbers of working families who are relying on low-wage work to make ends meet. Fully 58 percent of new jobs created in the post-recession recovery have been low-wage occupations, according to a 2012 report by the National Employment Law Project.

A growing list of states and cities is expected to approve minimum wage increases over the next year. Legislators have introduced proposals in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Delaware, Maryland, Minnesota, and Hawaii, while efforts to place minimum wage increases on the November 2014 ballot are underway in South Dakota, Alaska, New Mexico, Idaho, Arkansas, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia.  Local leaders are also exploring citywide minimum wage increases in Seattle, Chicago, and other cities.

In a rare example of regional cooperation, the District of Columbia City Council approved a bill earlier this month to raise the District’s minimum wage to $11.50 per hour, with parallel measures  raising the minimum wage to $11.50 per hour also approved in the neighboring Maryland counties of Montgomery and Prince George’s.

The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, supported by President Obama and introduced in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives earlier this year, would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour and adjust it annually to keep pace with the rising cost of living. The Fair Minimum Wage Act would also gradually raise the minimum wage for tipped workers from its current low rate of $2.13 per hour, where it has been frozen since 1991, to 70 percent of the full minimum wage.

At the local level, San Francisco will also increase its minimum wage on New Year’s day, to $10.79 per hour, along with San Jose, which will boost its wage to $10.15 per hour, in accordance with city statutes requiring annual inflation indexing. The city of SeaTac, Washington, will establish a $15 per hour wage for airport-related hospitality and restaurant occupations, following a ballot measure approved in November.

As of January 1st, 2014, 21 states, including the District of Columbia, will have minimum wage rates above the federal level of $7.25 per hour, which translates to just over $15,000 per year for a full-time minimum wage earner.

The most rigorous economic research over the past 20 years shows that raising the minimum wage boosts worker pay without causing job losses – even in regions where the economy is weak or unemployment is high. A recent study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research reviews the past two decades of research on the impact of minimum wage increases on employment and concludes that “the weight of the evidence points to little or no effect of minimum wage increases on job growth.” An April 2013 poll found that 67 percent of small business owners support raising and indexing the minimum wage, indicating that the majority believe an increase will help boost economic growth.

The following table lists the states with increases, amount of increase, the new wage on January 1, 2014, the total workers directly and indirectly affected, and the GDP impact of each minimum wage increase:
States with Minimum Wage Increase
Amount of Wage Increase
New Wage onJan. 1, 2014
Total Affected Workers
GDP Impact
Arizona
$0.10
$7.90
75,000
 $15,828,000
Colorado
$0.22
$8.00
104,000
$18,788,000
Connecticut
$0.45
$8.70
107,000
$24,666,000
Florida
$0.14
$7.93
416,000
 $62,774,000
Missouri
$0.15
$7.50
104,000
 $11,865,000
Montana
$0.10
$7.90
13,000
 $2,516,000
New Jersey
$1.00
$8.25
443,000
$173,204,000
New York
$0.75
$8.00
676,000
$215,236,000
Ohio
$0.10
$7.95
330,000
 $38,795,000
Oregon
$0.15
$9.10
104,000
 $16,206,000
Rhode Island
$0.25
$8.00
23,000
 $3,869,000
Vermont
$0.13
$8.73
10,000
$1,896,000
Washington
$0.13
$9.32
158,000
$33,569,000
Total


2,563,000
$619,212,000
The National Employment Law Project is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts research and advocates on issues affecting low-wage and unemployed workers. For more about NELP, visit www.nelp.org or www.raisetheminimumwage.org.
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JUICE #6: FORMER MD GOP CHAIR ALEX MOONEY EARNS BACKING OF RIGHTWING GROUPS FOR WEST VIRGINIA CONGRESSIONAL SEAT - We previously noted that Maryland's discredited former GOP Chair Alex Mooney left the state to run for Congress in West Virginia. In case you were hoping what ever became of his race, I just noticed that Mooney received the endorsement of the . Check out the following :
PRESS RELEASE

Eagle Forum PAC Endorses Alex Mooney for Congress

Martinsburg, WV - Eagle Forum PAC endorsed Alex Mooney, conservative Republican candidate for Congress in West Virginia’s Second Congressional District.

“Alex is exactly the kind of leader we need in Washington. He will be a bold, pro-family, Constitution-supporting representative who can provide sorely needed leadership in Washington,” said Phyllis Schlafly, founder and president of Eagle Forum. “We know we can count on him to continue to stand up for the unborn and the Constitutional rights that we hold dear.”

“I am honored by Eagle Forum’s endorsement,” Mooney said. “We share a deeply held belief that our traditional conservative values are under assault by the liberal Obama administration. West Virginians deserve a representative who will stand up for their conservative beliefs and their freedom. In Congress, I will be a relentless voice for our individual liberties, our families, and our industries.”

The Eagle Forum endorsement is part of a growing conservative movement rallying behind Mooney’s candidacy. Mooney has also been endorsed by the Gun Owners of America Political Victory Fund, Citizens United Political Victory Fund, and Morton Blackwell. The Eagle Forum endorsement can be read here.

Candidate Alex Mooney, his wife Grace, and their children reside in Charles Town, West Virginia. Mooney is taking his campaign to defend conservative values to every part of West Virginia’s Second Congressional District.

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